Bethlehem: “It’s time the Israelis got the hell out of here. You too.”

Facebook Twitter Whatsapp Email
Hanna Barag, Translation: Naomi Halsted


I got to the checkpoint at 3:15 p.m. I found parking right opposite the entrance to the checkpoint because there was no traffic and all the parking spots that are usually taken and fought for were empty. The scores of workers who are usually coming home on Fridays weren’t there. The exit towards was open, but only one woman passed through during the entire 45 minutes I was there. I spoke to a bus driver who was waiting for passengers who didn’t appear. He said that the situation in Bethlehem was awful. There won’t be a Christmas tree in the main square. The restaurants are closed and there are no customers in the shops. If people did have money put by, it’s gone and when there’s no work, there’s no money. Everyone is asking “how much longer??”


The bottom line of our talk, which was conducted pleasantly and with each of us listening to the other, is that it’s time that the Israelis got the hell out of here. “Even you, who are, as it were, on the Palestinians’ side.” He says there’s no chance of living here together and the right thing is for us to get out. Their day will come and the International Court of Justice in The Hague will prove its power to us.


I left feeling depressed. For over 20 years we’ve tried and the frustration is immense.